Iran, Indian Province Eager to Increase Trade Cooperation
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran is interested in boosting trade and economic cooperation with India's Andhra Pradesh province, Iranian Consul General in Hyderabad Hassan Nourian said.
Nourian's remarks came during a meeting with an Indian trade delegation who recently visited Iran in Hyderabad, capital of Indian Andhra Pradesh province on Saturday.
"Iran and India have agreed to focus on trade in non-oil sector and plan to increase the bilateral trade to $25bln within next four years," the Iranian official said.
He noted that India has decided to invest $100mln in Iran's Southeastern port city of Chabahar.
Nourian said the port located at Oman Sea and near Indian Ocean offers India's companies access to the markets in Afghanistan and the Central Asia.
A 23-member trade delegation recently visited Iran. The delegation signed three memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with chambers of commerce of Tehran, Shiraz and Bushehr to promote business and trade.
Yesterday, Iranian Deputy Minister of Road and Urbanization Seyed Ataollah Sadr said that Tehran and New Delhi are in talks over the latter's investment in Iran's port development projects.
Sadr, who is also managing-director of Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization, said Indian investors are interested to partner in development projects in Iran's Southeastern port city of Chabahar.
"Negotiations have been held in this regard for Indians' involvement in the development of phase 2 of Chabahar's Shaheed Beheshti port and construction of Chabahar-Sarakhs railway," Sadr stated.
Iran and India which have deep historical and cultural relations are now seeking to further expand political and economic ties.
India, the world's fourth-largest petroleum consumer, is Iran's second largest oil customer after China and purchases around $12bln worth of Iranian crude every year, about 12 percent of its consumption.
India and Iran have been holding discussions at regular intervals on issues related to economic cooperation under the joint commission mechanism, which was established in July 1983.
The meeting of the Joint India-Iran Commission provided an opportunity to review bilateral economic and cultural cooperation.